Bold and Opinionated!


Took long to come up with an article because I was so wallowed in on ideas and I couldn’t pick one that was so personal to me. Here’s one.

At the age of 8, I was already a class monitress in what at the time was called kindergarten, I was in a foreign country with little to no knowledge of their language and what I should do with being a class representative. At that time, I couldn’t tell why I was always chosen to be among the leaders and why of all the children in my class it had to be me. But come to think of it now, it clicked that I was always forthcoming when it came to asking questions and always eager to learn, that I actually aroused the teachers’ interest in me. From that time on, even when we left the country and came back home, I have always been curious to learn new ways around life, around everything and that I believe that made me have a sharp mind, my goal was to be more informed.

My friends have always been a year or two older and I never felt like I’m jumping levels. You could say my IQ was at their level and not with my age mates. Little did I know that I was creating a problem for me that would most likely intimidate or be perceived unwelcome in a society that expects the girl child/women to be less informed or opinionated. What if my intention was none of the above, but to simply be heard? Long story short, to this time, among my friends, and in my relationships, I’m always given the eye because I’m forward and eloquent with sharing opinions, sentiments and with boldness. Either I’m told , “you are strong-willed, a hard hand, opinionated” et cetera. And that a woman should tone down and maybe not speak up to avoid being named and placed in all sorts of disgraceful categories.

In Rwandan cultural setting much less Muslim backgrounds, a woman is expected to lower her gaze and not to share her thoughts as it’s simply not acceptable by the society and religious standards. I’m glad that I work for myself which allows me to make decisions. I would say this is the only place my opinion is respected and I feel in tune with my whole true persona.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sheila Umuhoza
COMMENT (17)
Salha / 15 February 2021

This right here is the reason I started Teakisi – being able to speak up and finally getting heard! Well done Sheila

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Sheila Umuhoza / 15 February 2021

Thank you Salha for this platform. And for trusting us to reach out!! I hope we can impact as many lives as we can.

Cheers

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Nadia uwamahoro / 15 February 2021

Thank you sheila , so many things women are not allowed to say or to do while men enjoy all the freedom. What is even Sad is that many women tend to judge other woman and push to push them to settle for less in the name of culture. Nice article

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Sheila Umuhoza / 16 February 2021

I love love your contribution to this. What is our role as women towards stepping on our own rights!?

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Kabasinga Samantha Kagabo / 15 February 2021

Louder!!

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Sheila Umuhoza / 15 February 2021

HAHAHAHAAH. There you are!!!

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Takudzwanashe Ndangana / 15 February 2021

This is a great read.

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Sheila Umuhoza / 15 February 2021

Thanks Taku!

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Natacha Umutoni / 15 February 2021

thank you for this Sheila! here is to more women taking up space. like you say, we battle with culture and religion to shrink ourselves and its time we stop that.

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Sheila Umuhoza / 16 February 2021

You can say that again. Submission and shrinkage are not synonyms. Can we drop the theatrics.lol

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Faith Mangwanya / 15 February 2021

It’s not just in Rwanda. It happens all over Africa!

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Sheila Umuhoza / 16 February 2021

I agree. Shamee

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Dave / 15 February 2021

Isn’t it time for religions to consider revising their ideologies?
Thank you Sheilla for this great piece. Bold indeed.

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Sheila Umuhoza / 16 February 2021

Thank you Dave for taking your time to read

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Norah Kirabo / 15 February 2021

Great read Sheila.

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Sheila Umuhoza / 16 February 2021

Thank youu

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Bolaji Gelax / 22 February 2021

Oh, how I relate to this post!

It’s liberating to be oneself freely without the fear of prejudice.

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